Wednesday, May 16, 2012

New President of MIT is its Provost

Congrats to the new President of MIT!

According to the MIT News Office:

L. Rafael Reif, a distinguished electrical engineer whose seven-year tenure as MIT's provost has helped MIT maintain its appetite for bold action as well as its firm financial footing, has been selected as the 17th president of the Institute.

Reif, 61, was elected to the post this morning by a vote of the MIT Corporation. He will assume the MIT presidency on July 2, 2012.

As the Institute's chief academic officer since 2005, Reif led the design and implementation of the strategy that allowed MIT to weather the global financial crisis; drove the growth of MIT's global strategy; promoted a major faculty-led effort to address challenges around race and diversity; helped foster the emergence of an innovation cluster adjacent to MIT in Kendall Square; led the development of MITx, the Institute's new initiative in online learning; and led MIT's role in the formation of edX, the recently announced partnership between MIT and Harvard University that builds on MITx and that aims to enrich residential education while bringing online learning to great numbers of people around the world.

Reif has been a member of the MIT faculty since 1980 and is currently the Fariborz Maseeh Professor of Emerging Technology in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He succeeds Susan Hockfield, who announced earlier this year that she would step down after more than seven years as MIT's president.

More info is on MIT News.

Susan Hockfield was the first female to lead MIT.

Having spent two years at MIT,  in the Transportation Systems Division under the sponsorship of a National Science Foundation Visiting Professorship for Women, and at the Sloan School of Management under a (now-called) Conti Faculty Fellowship from UMass Amherst, I wish this institution well. I have good colleagues and friends there and a neighbor's son will be a freshman there as of Fall 2012.